Namibian University Entrants' Concepts of 'a Dictionary'

Herman L. Beyer, André K. Faul

Abstract


ABSTRACT: This article reports on a survey conducted in 2009 among students registering for their first year of study at the University of Namibia. The aim of the study was to determine these school leavers' concepts of 'a dictionary' and to what extent they perceive dictionaries to be of potential help in satisfying needs for specific types of linguistic information. Furthermore, the survey attempted to determine if the variables of frequency of dictionary use, exposure to dictionary pedagogy at school and dictionary ownership had any influence on respondents' concepts of 'a dictionary'. In comparison to the literature and other similar studies, this study takes a new approach by measuring respondents' concepts of dictionaries against a pre-constructed dictionary profile based on validated assumptions while focusing on the pre-consultation situation instead of on a reflection on past dictionary consultation procedures. The findings indicate that Namibian school-leavers do not grasp the complete information potential of monolingual dictionaries. Also, although school syllabuses of language subjects require dictionary skills to be taught, about a third of the respondents were not exposed to dictionary pedagogy at school, while those respondents who were exposed to some form of dictionary pedagogy do not demonstrate a substantially different concept of dictionaries from those who did not undergo dictionary training. This result questions the quality of dictionary pedagogy where it does take place. The effects of frequency of dictionary use and dictionary ownership on respondents' concepts of dictionaries also seem to have been minimal.

OPSOMMING: Namibiese universiteitstoetreders se konsepte van " 'n woordeboek". Hierdie artikel doen verslag van 'n opname wat in 2009 onder eerstejaarstudente aan die Universiteit van Namibië onderneem is. Die doel van die studie was om die skoolverlaters se konsepte van " 'n woordeboek" vas te stel en te bepaal in welke mate hulle woordeboeke beskou as potensiële hulp in die bevrediging van spesifieke tipes linguistiese inligtingsbehoeftes. Daarbenewens het die opname geprobeer om te bepaal of die veranderlikes van frekwensie van woordeboekgebruik, blootstelling aan woordeboekonderrig en woordeboekeienaarskap enige invloed op die respondente se konsepte van " 'n woordeboek" gehad het. In vergelyking met die literatuur en soortgelyke opnames volg hierdie studie 'n nuwe benadering deur respondente se konsepte van woordeboeke te meet teen 'n voorafgekonstrueerde woordeboekprofiel wat op geldige veronderstellings gebaseer is terwyl die fokus op die voornaslaansituasie val in plaas van op nadenke oor vorige woordeboeknaslaanprosedures. Die bevindinge toon dat Namibiese skoolverlaters nie die volledige inligtingspotensiaal van verklarende woordeboeke besef nie. Alhoewel skoolsillabusse van taalvakke vereis dat woordeboekvaardighede onderrig word, het ongeveer 'n derde van die respondente ook nie enige vorm van woordeboekonderrig ondergaan nie, terwyl dié respondente wat wel een of ander vorm van woordeboekonderrig ondergaan het, nie 'n beduidend andersoortige opvatting van woordeboeke getoon het as dié wat nie woordeboekonderrig ontvang het nie. Hierdie resultaat bevraagteken die kwaliteit van woordeboekonderrig waar dit wel plaasvind. Die effek van frekwensie van woordeboekgebruik en woordeboekeienaarskap op respondente se konsepte van woordeboeke blyk ook minimaal te wees.

Sleutelwoorde: DEFINISIE, FREKWENSIE VAN WOORDEBOEKGEBRUIK, GEBRUIKERSBEHOEFTES, GEBRUIKERSNAVORSING, GEBRUIKSNAVORSING, INLIGTINGSPOTENSIAAL, KONSEP, LEKSIKOGRAFIE, LEKSIKOGRAFIES RELEVANTE BEHOEFTES, VRAELYS, WOORDEBOEK, WOORDEBOEKEIENAARSKAP, WOORDEBOEKGEBRUIKER, WOORDEBOEKONDERRIG, WOORDEBOEKPROFIEL


Keywords


CONCEPT; DEFINITION; DICTIONARY; DICTIONARY OWNERSHIP; DICTIONARY PEDAGOGY; DICTIONARY PROFILE; DICTIONARY USER; FREQUENCY OF DICTIONARY USE; INFORMATION POTENTIAL; LEXICOGRAPHICALLY RELEVANT NEEDS; LEXICOGRAPHY; QUESTIONNAIRE; USAGE RESEARCH; USER NEEDS

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5788/20-0-160

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ISSN 2224-0039 (online); ISSN 1684-4904 (print)

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